I’ve officially been someone’s girlfriend for 2 years now. (Well, since the middle of October but I just couldn’t get this post right *shrugging girl emoji*.) That’s still strange to me. I spent all the years before that being the girl who was always single – that guys weren’t interested in. Always the 3rd wheel. Or sometimes the 5th. The few times I thought I found someone, I was tricked or hurt by guys that didn’t want the same things. I didn’t understand how relationships worked for other people. To be honest, it still baffles me sometimes.

Part of me feels silly making a big deal about a 2 year dating anniversary because most of my friends are married, have kids, or have been with their boyfriend for much longer than 2 years. Plus, I’m probably the last person to give advice on this topic. And after all, it’s about strong, independent women around here. But, I want to share this with the many women who’ve had the same relationship struggles I have.

 We’re All On Our Own Journey and This Is Mine.

Watching other people be in relationships, I did sometimes feel like I was missing out. But, until this relationship I didn’t really know what it was I was missing out on. I guess when I think about it now, it’s not just 2 years of dating someone. It’s 2 years of knowing someone who will be weird with me, of loving myself, and working through struggles.

For most of this relationship I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. I was worried that I would fall short of some expectation.
Honestly, most of the last year of my life I felt that way so this just added to it. Between starting a new job, finding out that job was ending, moving to my apartment, moving to a new desk in a new office on a new floor at work to start my new job, and all the little things in between – it’s been an interesting year. Talking about anxiety and over thinking. *grimmacing emoji*

I’m going to admit – there are many moments I wish I had acted or spoken differently. But I learned from all the changes and all the things I did and said.

So, Here’s To You – Single Girl.

The girl who can’t seem to find a guy who likes her, who doesn’t feel pretty enough, or can’t seem to make a relationship work. I’m not gonna repeat all the clichés  -don’t settle, etc. But, really. Keep the faith, someone is out there for you. Don’t think less of yourself because you’re not a girlfriend. And certainly don’t stop doing life the way you love because someone doesn’t love it, too. You’re not necessarily missing out. Your journey is yours. I firmly believed that I had to love myself first before I could love someone else. I still believe that. So, I spent a lot of time working on myself and when I felt I was healed and ready I signed up for an online dating app and put myself out there. You can read about my online dating experience in this post from last year.

I know, I know. It’s easy for me to say. I used to think that when I would read articles like this! For most of my relationship I still related to my single self because that’s all I knew. Well, that and rom coms. So I really DO get it.

To My Single Self

Speaking of my single self – here are the things I wish you knew back then:

Being in a relationship is hard.

Someone will love you – even with all you quirks and flaws.

You will be able to forgive each other and make it all work.

Don’t unload all the baggage you’ve been carrying around – you aren’t the same person now.

You don’t have to change yourself be a girlfriend.

Your boyfriend will help you see things about yourself that you couldn’t see before.

Don’t just wait for a man who gives you heart eyes just from a text –  BUT one that always makes time for you and cares about why you’re upset.

Keep praying, the right person for you WILL come along. 

I don’t know how long this relationship will last or what the future holds. But I do know that I am forever grateful for this man being in my life.

To J, thank you for showing me that I do truly deserve love and that I am capable of giving it. That being emotional or over thinking doesn’t mean I’m any less than you [or anyone]. For understanding that sometimes I just need to cuddle and other times I need a drink. For telling me I’m pretty when my hair is on top of my head and I have acne scars on my chin – not because you think I want to hear it but because you really think so. As Russell Dickerson would say, “You make me better than I was before, thank God I’m yours”.

*wipes eyes*

What I've Learned Being A Girlfriend |

These pictures were taken during our trip to Dubuque, IA for my college homecoming. It also happened to be our anniversary weekend. The top of the hill above is one of my favorite places on campus in Dubs – such a pretty view!

During this stressful holiday season please remember you’re not alone. Single or in a relationship – you are loved.

Thank you so much for reading!

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What I've Learned Being A Girlfriend | Tips | Relationships | Life | Boyfriend | Truths

Signature Oct 2017 | Caitlin Cosmetologist